Opera Diabolicus is the brainchild project of composer David Grimoire and lyricist Adrian de Crow. After meeting at a stage production of Umberto Eco’s In The Name Of The Rose [Ed. Note: Fantastic book as well as a great movie!], the two joined forces under the name Opera Diabolicus to bring about a musical project that combined the darker elements of music with the grandeur and spectacle of theatre. Now, their debut album, †1614, is about to arrive. But does it provide the spectacle that was promised or does this production fall flat?
Starting with Overture, the album begins with an eerie piano melody while, lurking in the background, are complementary strings. Then comes in rumbling percussion and the horns followed by a devilish choir. This all leads into The Gateway, a ten-minute opus complete with huge, distorted guitars and sweeping symphonic passages.
From a production standpoint, the album offers a great deal to listen for. On top of a full metal band, there are multiple vocalists, a symphony, and various other textures and background effects. Mixed with an almost old-school feel, the album has a very natural feel to it.
Featuring guest appearances from Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Dimmu Borgir), Mats Leven (Therion), Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil), Jake E (Amaranthe), and Camilla Alisander-Ason (who provides a wide variety of voices), this album has a wide cast of characters to keep listener interest piqued.
This is an album that will appeal to fans of Cradle Of Filth as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera. A perfect example of this marriage is Blood Countess Bathory, which tells the infamous tale of Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, who supposedly slaughtered countless young girls and bathed in their blood, all in order to maintain a youthful appearance.
The Final Word: Opera Diabolicus’s †1614 delivers exactly what it promises: a macabre, gothic metal album with a rabid taste for the theatrical. If this is your kind of music, expect this to become one of your favorites.